You are My witnesses, says Jehovah; and My servant whom I have elected; that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God [Hebrew, EL, Strong's #410] formed; nor shall any be after Me. - (Isaiah 43:10, Green's Literal Translation)
The argument presented by many who believe that Jesus is Jehovah [or, as some prefer, Yahweh] is that this scripture shows that there is only one true God, and since Jesus is referred to as THEOS (John 1:1), EL (Isaiah 9:6) and ELOHIM (Psalm 45:6), then Jesus must be the one true God. First we want to say that we believe that Jehovah, the God and Father of Jesus is the only true God in the absolute superlative usage of the word God -- the sole Power; the monotheistic belief in one true Supreme Being. Jesus is not the Supreme Being who sent him. -- Deuteronomy 18:15,18; Matthew 23:39; Mark 11:9,10; Luke 13:35; John 3:2,17; 5:19,43; 7:16,28; 8:26,28,38; 10:25; 12:49,50; 14:10; 15:15; 17:8,26; Hebrews 1:1,2; Revelation 1:1,2.
The fact that Jesus is a few times referred to by the Hebrew and Greek titles that are used for God does not mean that Jesus is God who sent him.
See our study on:
In Isaiah 42,43. Jehovah is speaking to Israel as his servant, who was given to the worship of idols, false gods. Jehovah is pointing out the powerlessness of these idol-gods, and showing that these gods were not who brought Israel out of Egypt, nor do they provide hope for the future.
The latter part of verse 10 is given in Green's interlinear as "Before Me not was formed a god [EL]. And Me after not shall be (any)." [We need to note that the Hebrew, like the Greek, has no indefinite article, so if it appears in any English translation, it is supplied by the translator(s). Now we know that the angels were created by Jehovah through the Logos. They are called *elohim* [plural of EL] in Psalm 8:5. Likewise the "sons of God" are called *elohim* in Psalm 82:6. The Greek word used to translated elohim by Jesus is *theoi*. The Logos, who was "brought forth" by Jehovah (Proverbs 8:25), is called *theos* (singular of theoi) in John 1:1. How is this related to Isaiah 43:10?
Evidently, something else than just the use of the word *EL* must be taken into account in Isaiah 43:10, such as the context. Jehovah contrasts himself with the idol-"gods" of the heathen. (Isaiah 42:17; 43:12) None of these heathen gods can perform or do what the true God of Israel can do. (Isaiah 43:9) We must also remember that the basic meaning of the world *el* is power or strength. It does not always designate "God" -- the Supreme Being -- as that word is often used of Jehovah, or false god as it may be used of idols. When used of others than Jehovah or idols, it often simply takes the meaning of strength, power, might. (See Proverbs 3:17 and Micah 2:1, where the KJV translated *el* as "in the power of "; see also Strong's Hebrew Dictionary for #410) "Formed" applies to the idols, not to Jehovah. Jehovah himself was never formed, for he has always been, so therefore there could be no idol-god formed before Jehovah, and he will always be, so there can be no idol-god formed after him. Nevertheless, the implication is that Jehovah is unique. There has never been any who are equal to him, and never will be. The angels, although referred to as elohim, are not equal to God who made them. The sons of God are called "elohim" in Psalm 82:6 are not equal to Jehovah, nor will they ever be. (Psalm 8:1) Moses, who was made elohim [god] to Pharoah by Jehovah himself, is not made equal to Jehovah, and he will never be equal to Jehovah. Likewise, Jesus is not equal to his Father, Jehovah, the only true God [Supreme Being], nor will he ever be. (John 17:1,3; Psalm 45:7)
Please also note that it is the Bible itself that refers to others as elohim and theoi, thus we need to note the relative difference in the usage of the word. Indeed, in some of the scriptures it is Jehovah Himself who uses the Hebrew word for "God/god" of others than Himself.
Jesus claimed, and the holy spirit reveals through the scriptures, that Jehovah is the only true God, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus. Jesus has one who is the Supreme Being over him; Jesus is not his Supreme Being whom he worships, prays to, and who sent him, and whose will he carried out in willful obedience. -- Deuteronomy 18: 15-19; Matthew 4:4 (Deuteronomy 8:3; Luke 4:4); Matthew 4:7 (Deuteronomy 6:16); Matthew 4:10 (Exodus 20:3-5; 34:14; Deuteronomy 6: 13,14; 10:20; Luke 4:8); Matthew 22:29-40; Matthew 26:42; Matthew 27: 46; Mark 10:6 (Genesis 1:27; Genesis 2:7,20-23); Mark 14:36; 15:34; Luke 22:42; John 4:3; 5:30; 6:38; 17:1,3; 20:17; Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 11:31; Ephesians 1:3,17; Hebrews 1:9; 10:7; 1 Peter 1:3; Revelation 2:7; 3:2,12.
Israel (Jacob) was, of course, not formed before Jehovah (Isaiah 43:1), nor were any of of the idol-gods of Israel (Isaiah 42:8; 43:12) formed before Jehovah, since Jehovah has always existed, and none of the idol- gods will be formed after him, since he will always exist. The holy spirit reveals through the scriptures that Jesus is the firstborn creature, existing with his God and Father before the world was created. -- John 1:1; 6:62; 17:5; Colossians 1:15; Revelaton 3:14.
The holy spirit reveals through the scriptures that Jesus was sent by Jehovah, speaks for Jehovah, represents Jehovah. Jesus is not Jehovah whom he represents and speaks for. -- Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Matthew 23:39; Mark 11:9,10; Luke 13:35; John 3:2,17,32-35; 4:34; 5:19,30,36,43; 6: 57; 7:16,28; 8:26,28,38; 10:25; 12:49,50; 14:10; 15:15; 17:8,26; 20: 17; Acts 2:22,34-36; Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 8:6; 11:31; Colossians 1:3,15; 2:9-12; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 1:1.
Of course, Jesus, being given his power and authority from his God, Jehovah, and representing Jehovah, is not an idol-god, but he is EL, ELOHIM, THEOS, a Mighty One. Nor was Jesus brought forth (Proverbs 8: 24,25) before Jehovah existed, nor will Jesus be brought forth after Jehovah ceases to exist.
Some seem to be hung up on the idea that if Jesus was created then he could not be a god (a mighty one) in view of what it says in Isaiah 43:10. While the above explanation should be sufficient, we will reiterate what we have already said. (1) The specific "gods" being referred to are the idol-gods of men. (2) Jesus was not brought forth before or after God, since Jehovah had no beginning and had no end. Nor was Jesus brought forth as God [The Supreme Being], or equal to God. He was brought forth as mighty -- as a mighty being, but not as God Almighty.
Originally published: June 12, 2009. Updated and Republished: July 31, 2015; Updated April 13, 2017.
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